Today in the Church Times there is a report on the rising cost of maintaining CofE bishops’ houses. The total spend in 2002-04 was £11 million. In 2008-10, it is forecast to be £21 million. Some of them are Grade listed. Some of them are castles.
Our bishop lives in a basement flat. Nuff said.
(Although I do think he deserves a proper house. I mean, I think I’ve seen him blinking when he comes out into sunlight.)
3 thoughts on “Cost of Bishops’ houses”
what an image you conjure of your dear bishop. It makes me think we need an SEC version of a Wind in the Willows.
Ooh yes. Let’s cast them now…
One of the problems the church (CofE probably even more than SEC) has to contend with is the huge weight of history and heritage in its guardianship. One can argue that to a large extent the financing of its upkeep should be the business of the state rather than the church, but, even if the state agreed, balancing what is national heritage and what is necessary business and accomodation useage for the church would be a nightmare. Leaving aside the bishops and their palaces, imagine the congregation of St Eggfroth’s, Little Mudby: they have a huge mainly 14th century church which could comfortably acccomodate a congregation of 200+, and there are just 20 of them worshiping together on a regular basis; how do you calculate how much of the tab for maintaining (including heating and lighting) and keeping open to the public that vast building the state picks up compared with the actual 5 hours pcm useage of part of the building the congregation should pay for? I suspect that the calculations for actual accomodation and office needs of bishops, their families and their staff set against maintaining an historic palace or castle would be even more complicated.